InterGlobe Aviation Ltd, which operates India’s largest airline IndiGo, on Thursday reported profit of ₹919.2 crore, a record for the March quarter, as air travel boomed.

Total income during the quarter rose 78% from a year earlier to ₹14,600 crore, the low-fare airline said, citing robust demand and high other income, including interest income on savings, compensation from engine makers and viability-gap funding received from the government.

The March quarter of FY22 was impacted by weakened travel sentiment amid the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of covid-19. As a result, the company reported a loss of ₹1,681.8 crore and a total income of ₹8,207.5 crore during the period.

InterGlobe reported a yield (or revenue earned per paying passenger flown per km) of ₹4.85 per km, compared with ₹4.40 per km in the same quarter the previous year.

During the latest quarter, India’s average daily air passenger traffic was recorded at 420,000, crossing traffic in the pre-pandemic year of 2019, and also higher than in the March quarter of FY22, according to data from the civil aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

InterGlobe expects total capacity in terms of available seat km or passenger carrying capacity to increase 5-7% in the June quarter of FY24 compared to the March quarter of FY23. Notably, the first quarter will witness high summer travel at a time Go First, which carried about 7% of the total passengers, suspended operations. For the full year, InterGlobe reported a net loss of ₹305.8 crore. The airline had reported a loss of ₹6,161.8 crore in the previous financial year, which ended in March 2022.

As of 31 March, the airline’s fleet stood at 304 aircraft, including 21 A320 neos (current engine option), 162 A320 neos (new engine option), 79 A321 neos, 39 ATRs, two A321 freighters and one Boeing 777 on wet lease. The airline expanded its fleet by two during the quarter.

InterGlobe said demand would remain robust, pointing to its booking numbers.

“Demand remains strong with healthy yield. Forward bookings are very encouraging. We aspire to grow to north of mid-teens in the next financial year,” chief executive officer Pieter Elbers told analysts in a post-earnings conference call.

After a year of recovery, InterGlobe aims to double its size and scale by the end of the decade. Towards this, the company, which employs around 32,000, plans to add 5,000 more this year. The airline carried 85.6 million passengers in FY23 and plans to increase passenger traffic on its network to 100 million this financial year.

IndiGo, a Pratt & Whitney customer in India like Go First, said that currently, the number of its grounded planes is in the high 30s.

“Directionally, the situation is stable but not improving,” Elbers said, adding the airline is in talks with the engine maker to resolve supply issues.



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